The sister of country music's leading lady says she is disgusted by what wasn’t said on the red carpet at the CMA Awards last week.
Stella Parton, Dolly Parton’s younger sister, said she is hurt over sexual assault allegations involving Nashville publicist Kirt Webster, but is even more outraged over the music industry’s silence.
On Oct. 31, Austin Rick told News 4 that while he was a client of Webster’s in 2008, the publicist sexually assaulted him three times.
Stella Parton wonders why, two weeks later, more artists and publicists aren’t saying anything.
Stella Parton has been performing for decades. She said the glamor on stage did not always reflect what was going on behind the scenes.
“I have been victimized myself,” she said.
Stella Parton said she was sexually assaulted by someone in the industry when she was younger.
“To let these predatory monsters run loose up and down our streets on Music Row? I am sorry, that is unacceptable,” she said.
Many who fill the offices on Music Row were walking the CMA Awards red carpet last week. The only mention of the Webster scandal on the carpet a shirt worn by a publicist.
“I was disgusted that the entire industry - all of the artists and the managers and the record companies and the CMA and all the people at other PR firms that no one can say anything?" Stella Parton said.
Stella Parton said she is not accusing Webster of anything, but said others should listen to those who say they've been hurt.
She said it makes her stomach turn to think about the allegations that Webster used her sister as a pawn.
“After the allegations that he has sold meet-and-greet tickets for sexual gratification for himself, I was horrified,” Stella Parton said.
She also called attention to comments made to News 4 to country singer Janie Fricke on Nov. 3.
Fricke said, “I don't believe in the sensationalism. I don't believe in the term 'sexual harassment.’ I don't believe in any of that.”
“I thought, ‘How delusional can you be lady?’ I was just horrified,” Stella Parton said.
News 4 reached out to a spokesperson for Webster to see if he has a response to the latest accusations. We have not yet received a response.
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